by jonnywhitlam


On one of my frequent trips through the city looking for photos I found myself around the Friedrichshain/Mitte border around Karl-Marx-Allee. Now, it’s easy to find the more impressive buildings here, but there is always so much else to see in Berlin. A tiny walk off the beaten track and you’re surrounded in a world of DDR-era architecture. One thing that I found pretty odd about a lot of the buildings (do bear in mind I come from a small English village) was the way they were tiled, I’m not sure what material is used, I’ve heard steel, aluminium, plastic, ceramics…honestly I have no idea. But it does create these huge buildings covered in these massive grids, like a giant board game or something.

Now whether it’s a cliché or not, one think I often hear from people that lived in former communist countries (not just East Germany) is that the place had no colour…now I’m sure it did, but perhaps not the glitzy lights and advertisements that are commonplace in the West. I find myself always looking for ‘the other’, wherever I am, and I suppose that’s why I was attracted to looking at East German architecture, I guess to find out ‘how the other half lived’. I guess it’s another great thing about Berlin, walking almost any street here can be like experiencing a living museum.

If you would like to visit the exhibition it is on at Speakeasy Sprachzeug language school, 116 Boxhagener Str. Berlin (Nearest U-Bahn is Frankfurter Tor.) from June 24 until August 28. If you would like to buy a print of this or any other photo please feel free to send me an email (see contact).